Professor Merlin Crossley

Honorary Associate
Biochemistry, School of Molecular Bioscience

G08 - Biochemistry Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

T: +61 2 9385 7916
F: +61 2 9385 7920
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Biographical details

Biographical summary [More...]

Research interests

Biographical summary

Merlin moved to take up the position of Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of New South Wales at the end of 2009, but remains an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney.

Merlin Crossley completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Melbourne, majoring in genetics and microbiology, but also receiving academic awards for classical languages. After a year as a tutor in residence at Queen's College, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and carried out his doctorate at Oxford University. He received Magdalen College's Edward Chapman research award for this work. Following a post-doctoral period in Oxford he took a research position at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Children's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School.

He later returned to the University of Sydney and established a laboratory investigating DNA-binding molecules and gene control. At the end of 2009 he moved to the University of New South Wales to take up the role of Dean of Science.

He has led Australian research teams funded by the US National Institutes of Health, the Australian Research Council (ARC), and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project and Program Grants. His research has been recognized by several awards including the Australian Academy of Science's Gottschalk Medal, the Royal Society of NSW's Edgeworth David Medal, the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's Roche Medal, and the Lorne Genome Conference's Julian Wells Medal.

He is a committed undergraduate and post-graduate teacher and has received a Vice-Chancellor's Award for Research Supervision. While maintaining his research and teaching he has made contributions to administration, serving as the Acting Dean of Science throughout 2004, then as the Director of Research in the University's College of Sciences and Technology, and from 2006 to the end of 2008 as the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, and now as Dean of Science at UNSW, he has worked to remove obstacles to success in research and to facilitate research led teaching.

CURRICULUM VITAE

Appointments

1990-1 Post-doctoral Researcher, Laboratory of Prof. George Brownlee, FRS, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford University

1991-5 Post-doctoral Researcher, Laboratory of Prof. Stuart Orkin, Children?s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Center, Harvard University

1995-7 Lecturer, Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Sydney

1998-2002 Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Sydney

2002-4 Associate Professor, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney

2004 Acting Dean of Science, University of Sydney

2005 Professor of Molecular Genetics, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney

2005 Director of Research, College of Sciences and Technology, University of Sydney

2006-2008 Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Sydney

2010-present, Dean of Science, University of New South Wales

Research goals

To identify regulatory mechanisms to turn genes on and off

To thereby devise new strategies for the treatment of diseases, such as, sickle cell anaemia and leukaemia

Grants

1996-present Continuous Project Grant support from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council

2003-6 Lead investigator on a grant from the American National Institutes of Health

2006-10 Lead investigator on a National Health and Medical Research Council Program Grant

Publications

See below for recent publications

Research prizes

1998 Australian Life Sciences Research Award, Beckman Coulter and Lorne Genome Conference

1999 Roche Medal, Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

2000 Sir Edgeworth David Medal, Royal Society of NSW

2002 Eppendorf South Pacific Award for the Young Australian Investigator, Lorne Genome Conference

2002 Gottschalk Medal for research in medical science, Australian Academy of Science

2005 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Student Supervision

2010 Julian Well's Medal, Lorne Genome Conference

Service to the profession

1997-9 NSW representative for the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

2000-4 Honorary Secretary of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

2001 Convenor and Chair of the Organizing Committee for the Lorne Genome Conference

2002-present International Scientific Committee for the Asian Conference on Transcription

2002-6 Honorary Treasurer and Board Member, Lorne Genome Conference Inc.

2006 Chair of Biochemistry Panel 1a of the National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant Review Panels

Contributions to scientific and medical education

1995-present Undergraduate teaching in the B.Med.Sci. and B.Sc. degrees

1996 Co-author of Molecular Biology through Questions, McGraw-Hill

1996-present Supervision of 23 Honours students and 17 PhD students (6 currently enrolled)

1996-present Examiner for more than 25 PhD theses

2002-3 Director of the B.Sc. Molecular Biology and Genetics Program

Education and awards

1976-81 Melbourne Grammar

1976 Entrance Scholarship

1977 Dux of Grimwade House (Junior School) and Rusden Scholarship

1981 Dux of School

1982-86 B.Sc. Hons University of Melbourne

1982 Queen's College, Major Scholarship Division I

1983 J.F.W. Payne Exhibition in Biology

1984 Australian Society for Microbiology Scholarship, Dwight Prize for Genetics, John Grice Exhibition in Latin, Wyvern Essay Prize

1985 Australian Society for Microbiology Prize

1986 Douglas Howard Exhibition in Latin, Bryan Scholarship, Major Bartlett Scholarship, Roy and Iris Simmon's Award for Microbiology Honours

1987-1990 Oxford University

1987-1990 Rhodes Scholarship

1987-1990 D.Phil. on the molecular genetics of Haemophilia B, supervised by Prof. George G. Brownlee, FRS, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology

1990 Edward Chapman Research Prize, Magdalen College

Current national competitive grants*

2012

Functional analysis of ZRANB2, an RNA-binding protein that is essential for mammalian development
Mackay J, Crossley M
ARC Discovery Projects ($458,000 over 3 years)

* Grants administered through the University of Sydney

Honours project opportunities

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)